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Saturday, 29 February 2020

Mystic Informant - Carissa Douglas - Douglings Adventures Book 1

Mystic Informant
Douglings Adventures Book 1
Carissa Douglas
Scepter Publishers
ISBN 9781594173639
eISBN 9781594173646



This was the first book by Carissa Douglas that I have read but not the last. It looks like she has a series geared for younger readers with the same characters. It is a pity they are not available as eBooks. But I will track down physical copies. This first book is geared for middle grade readers and it is an excellent book and beginning to a series. I really can’t wait to find out what will happen in the next adventure.

This volume reminded me of The Relic of Perilous Falls by Raymond Arroyo Will Wilder Book 1 but geared for a younger audience. That one is for tweens and teens, and this story would be great for middle grade and younger tweens.

This story is well written and has some excellent illustrations. The writing is tight. The plot moves along at a breakneck pace. The mystical elements, and history of saints and miracles they performed is wonderfully woven into the tale. As is the element of a saint from heaven, and Angels showing up to help a family in need face an ancient evil. The story has a wonderful family dedicated to god and devoted to each other. A family friend ensnared by darkness who has lost much including hope and is being manipulated and controlled. We have a saint guiding the family. And The saint seeking guidance from God and leading through example of faith and prayer.

The description of the volume is:

“Join the fun and brave Douglas siblings Liam, Christian, Allora, Mary, Angelica, and Serena as they go on an adventure that leads them to an encounter with St. Pio of Pietrelcina better known as Padre Pio. They will come to love this wonderful saint, learn from his amazing knowledge of good and evil, help fight against the powers of a dark and looming enemy, and learn lessons about God’s love, forgiveness, and mercy.”

So, this is the first book of the Douglings Adventure Series, and it is a great beginning. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this and could not put it down. I started it to see which of my kids it would be good to read with and ended up finishing it in a single sitting. I plan on rereading it with my youngest two. Or maybe having the oldest read it to the other three of us. A great read, and fiction that will inspire faith.

Note: This book is part of a series of reviews: 2020 Catholic Reading Plan!

Books by Carissa Douglas:
Little Douglings Series:

I Go To Jesus
A Gift of myself
All Things new


Douglings Adventures Series:
Mystic Informant






Friday, 28 February 2020

Fulton Sheen - Louise Merrie - CTS Biographies

Fulton Sheen
CTS Biographies
Louise Merrie 
Catholic Truth Society
ISBN 9781860827754
eISBN 9781784694661
ASIN B075P2HJ1G
CTS Booklet B745


Over the last few years I have read several books by and about Blessed Fulton J. Sheen. I have read about a dozen books in the CTS Biographies series and have been blessed and challenged by each of them. I have read over 100 books and booklets from the Catholic Truth Society over the last few years and have just as many currently on my reading wish list. There are hundreds of books in the CTS Biographies series, and many contributing authors. I believe this is the only one written by Louise Merrie, and it might be the only book Louise penned. I am thankful for this volume and it serves as a great introduction to the man, his life, and his ministry.

The book was originally published in 2012 with the subtitle of; ‘A dynamic Personality’ and the eBook edition and reprint done in 2017 with the subtitle of: ‘Evangelist of the Modern Age’. Both subtitles work and both describe the man well. The chapters in this volume are:

Sheen’s True Vocation Begins
Professor, Author, And Radio Presenter
Life Is Worth Living Television Show
Generosity With Time And Money
Devotion To Our Lady
Vatican II And Pastoral Work
War And Practical Advice
Psychoanalysis And Confession
The Mystical Body Of Christ
Priesthood And Prayer
Cause For Canonization

We see that Fulton’s Catholic identity was instilled by his family life and early devotion and practice. 

“Fulton’s family life gave him a strong Catholic identity. The Sheens prayed the Rosary together every night and priests came to visit once a week. Fulton became an altar server at age eight, and served at Mass in St Mary’s Cathedral in Peoria.

Fulton went to his parish elementary school, St Mary’s in Peoria, and graduated as valedictorian from the Spaulding Institute in 1913, a high school run by the Brothers of Mary.”

We are told that he knew he wanted to be a priest from a young age and that he prayed for a true vocation. We are told that one of the major influences on his life and teaching was Saint Thomas Aquinas:

“The major influence on Father Sheen’s philosophy was St Thomas Aquinas. St Thomas’ influence can be seen in Father Sheen’s emphasis on the importance of truth. Although a scholar, Father Sheen explained the teachings of the Church in a way that was clear and direct, that even people without any background in theology or philosophy could comprehend.”

The book follows his career from writer, to Radio and then to television. The book serves as an excellent introduction to the man and even concludes with info on his canonization process. It has an excellent bibliography for going deeper with books by or books about Fulton J. Sheen. Even though I have been reading about Sheen for a few years now, I was blessed to have read this little volume and highly recommend it.

This is another great read from the Catholic Truth Society, and excellent volume in the CTS Biographies Series.

Note: This book is part of a series of reviews: 2020 Catholic Reading Plan! For other reviews of books from the Catholic Truth Society click here.

For other reviews of CTS Biographies click here.

Books by Fulton J. Sheen:
God and Intelligence in Modern Philosophy
The Seven Last Words
Philosophy of Science
The Eternal Galilean
Calvary and the Mass
The Cross and the Beatitudes
Communism and the Conscience of the West
Peace of Soul
Three to Get Married
Life Is Worth Living Series 1-5
Way to Happiness
Way to Inner Peace 
Life of Christ
Missions and the World Crisis
The Power of Love
Footprints in a Darkened Forest
Lenten and Easter Inspirations
You
Treasure in Clay: The Autobiography of Fulton J. Sheen

Books About Fulton J. Sheen:
The Archbishop and I
Fulton Sheen - Louise Merrie - CTS Biographies
...










Thursday, 27 February 2020

The Ghosts of Midgard Manor And Other Stories - Roger Thomas

The Ghosts of Midgard Manor And Other Stories 
Roger Thomas

JKC
ISBN 9781733080934
ASIN B083D6H7XX


Last year I read almost all the book available from the masterful pen of Roger Thomas. And there are some excellent reads. I especially loved his earlier collection of stories, The Last Ugly Person: And Other Stories, It was one of my favorite reads of almost 400 books that year. So to say I was eager and excited when I heard about this new collection of stories, would be a great understatement. As soon as I knew this was available I picked up the eBook and stopped reading the book I was on and immediately read the first story in this collection. And I worked my way through the whole collection over a few days. There is not a bad story in the collection. In fact, I could not even pick a least favorite, because all the stories are well written. The description of the collection is:

“An eclectic collection of short stories examining life and relationships from a variety of perspectives.”

And it really does live up to that statement. A few ghost stories, some historical fiction, and even some dystopian pieces are within the collection. There is even a battle with a demon. The stories in the order they appear are:

The Ghosts of Midgard Manor
The Rock
Rosalia
Zakkai
The Narrowing
Miriam
Catherine’s Triumph
The Queen's Request
Kateri’s Sentence

I am not even sure I could pick a favorite story in the collection. I have thought about it for a while and I keep changing my mind. I would absolutely love to know what happened a year or 2 later to Kateri. I would also be intrigued to find out what happened next for Catherine. The Ghost of Midgard Manor and The Queen’s Request both are excellent stories and stand well as they are. And seeing the story of Zakkai – Zacchaeus with a lot more historical background was truly eye opening. 

If you are a fan of short stories this is an excellent collection. If you are a fan of Roger’s novel I am certain you will enjoy this collection. And if you are unfamiliar with his work it will show you the variety and depth of his skill. 

A great collection that I highly recommend!

Note: This book is part of a series of reviews: 2020 Catholic Reading Plan!

Books by Roger Thomas:
The Accidental Marriage
From Afar
The Last Ugly Person: And Other Stories
The Ghosts of Midgard Manor And Other Stories



Watchful Sky Series:
Under the Watchful Sky
Rising Darkness
The Wounded Land
The Tattered Web



Author profile and interview with Roger Thomas.









Wednesday, 26 February 2020

Ceremonies Explained for Servers - Bishop Peter J. Elliott

Ceremonies Explained for Servers: A Manual for Altar Servers, Acolytes, Sacristans, and Masters of Ceremonies
Bishop Peter J. Elliott
Clara Fisher (Illustrator)
Ignatius Press
ISBN 9781621642992
eISBN 9781642291025
ASIN B083ZJQ9B4



This book is a true treasure. It is a book that should be in every parish. Or in the hands of all who help to form altar servers. I, myself, have served at the altar off and on for the last 40 years. First as a child. Then while at university, then when in university a second time, and now as an adult who serves when there are no alter servers or with my own children. And I can state I would have loved to have come across a book like this years ago.

I was expecting a book that would be very text heavy. Broken into chapters and lots of dense paragraphs. That is not what you get with this volume. From the Forward to the Index there are 180 Sections in the book. But each section is written in a series of points. And there are a total of 1037 point in the book from the first section to the final appendix. The chapters in the volume are:

Foreword
Preface
1. The Server
2. The Liturgy
3. Ceremonial Actions
4. The Mass
5. The Traditional Latin Mass
6. The Sacraments
7. Funerals
8. The Liturgy of the Hours
9. Other Ceremonies
10. Holy Week
11. Serving the Bishop
Appendix 1. LIGHTING CANDLES
Appendix 2. SETTING OUT VESTMENTS
Appendix 3. PRAYERS FOR SERVERS
Index

A sample from the first section is on the server:

1. The Server

1. You are a server. As you assist the priest, who leads the worship of the Church, so you make Catholic worship more reverent, efficient, and beautiful. Your work for God is very important, and this manual is designed to help you.

2. At the altar, your service is directed firstly to God, secondly as help to the clergy, and thirdly as assistance to the people who have been gathered by God for worship. Your actions are visible. You appear in public, but you are never a performer. By your faithful duty, you remain always a servant of Jesus Christ in the community of his Church.

3. A good server is not only skilled in a “craft” or duty at the altar but a humble and sincere person. The good server is a member of a team, working together in harmony with others, serving for the glory of God, learning that work at the altar is prayer in action. The good server is careful and reverent, even if there is only some small duty to perform.”


Another sample section is:

Serving Today

11. The Second Vatican Council (1962–1965) authorized a great reform and renewal of the Sacred Liturgy, the public worship of the Catholic Church according to the Roman Rite that developed in Western Europe. As we are part of the Roman Rite, we have to work out the best ways we can all play the various roles given us by the Church in celebrating her liturgy, for example, those who sing in the choir. But servers in particular have an important place in the celebration of Mass and the sacraments. Their efficient and devout assistance is second only to the action of the priest and deacon in its power to enhance, enrich, and strengthen the liturgy in our churches.

12. What does the Church expect of you? Obviously the Church expects you to know what you are doing. Servers should not wander around the altar, uncertain, clumsy, and confused. This manual has been written to promote efficient serving, which can only occur when servers know what they are doing. Great care has been taken in this manual to bring together the official directions of the liturgy and the best practices of style and technique. Serving is a craft, which the Church expects us to carry out well.

13. The Church also expects something deeper than knowing how to serve. An altar server is a Christian lay person who plays a key role in the celebration of the liturgy by carrying out a true liturgical ministry. That word “ministry” means “service”. By assisting the priest, the Church sees your service as a ministry to God, a ministry to God’s People.”


This book would have been great benefit to share with my children. Especially the section on serving with the bishop. My Children have served at confirmation masses and other masses where the bishop has visited our parish. To be able to prepare better for these occasions would have been a blessing. Of other importance are the sections on serving at Funerals, or the Liturgy of the hours.

This is truly a wonderful resource. It was great to read, and even just reading it for my own was edifying and will help me serve better and help me help my children to serve better. I know I stated it before, but this book should be in ever parish. It will help to form servers, and all who assist on the altar. It can be used as a guide for training. And sections can be shared with servers before preparing for special services. A much-needed book to restore the holy to the practice of serving at the altar. I cannot recommend this book to you enough.

Note: This book is part of a series of reviews: 2020 Catholic Reading Plan!

Books by Bishop Peter Elliott:
Ceremonies of the Liturgical Year: A Manual for Clergy and All Involved in Liturgical Ministries
Ceremonies Explained for Servers: A Manual for Altar Servers, Acolytes, Sacristans, and Masters of Ceremonies
Ceremonies of the Modern Roman Rite: The Eucharist and the Liturgy of the Hours: A Manual for Clergy and All Involved in Liturgical Ministries
Clergy, Sacristans, Teachers, Masters Of Ceremonies, And All Involved In The Ceremonies Of The Church
Prayers of the Faithful
The Cross And The Ensign; A Naval History of Malta 1798-1979
Liturgical Question Box
Receiving the Lord: Prayers for Communion
What God Has Joined: The Sacramentality Of Marriage

...







Tuesday, 25 February 2020

eXtreme Blindside - Leslea Wahl

eXtreme Blindside
Leslea Wahl
Pauline Books and Media
ISBN 
9780819824059
eISBN 9780819824066
ASIN B083ZFDW8F


This is the sixth volume written by or contributed to by Leslea Wahl that I have read. The Perfect Blindside, was the first book I read by Wahl and after reading it I picked up all the others that were then available. And I eagerly awaited this novel that continues the story. And the story was well worth the wait. This book is a good clean Christian young adult novel. But the story is so well written that even older readers should really enjoy it. It is part mystery and part romance. But the romance is about young people figuring out what God really want’s for them. 

As such the story revolves around mysterious events happening at an eXtreme games event in Colorado. But it also focuses on growing into who we want to be. Growth in maturity and responsibility. And about life in the limelight and under pressure and public scrutiny. The story also has some incredible scenery. From heliskiing in Europe to the events at the games in Colorado. 

Jack is taking part in an eXtreme Madness Games. In part as training for his role on the US Snowboarding team. And in part to help raise support for a new training facility. A facility that will not only cater to elite athletes but be fully integrated for Special Olympics, and athletes with all kinds of abilities. But something is going on at the games. Top athletes keep having things go wrong. From broken equipment to missing gear. Someone seems to be interfering with the events and putting people at risk. 

Jake Taylor is trying to walk a fine line between living his faith, and being a high profile name helping to raise funds for the new facility. His girlfriend, Sophie, is onside doing an internship for a magazine. And together they start looking into what is happening and why. But as with the last time, their investigations ends up putting both of them at grave danger. And They danger is not only from those trying to wreck the games, but from their own struggles with life in the media spotlight, and on both sides some jealousy. 

The story moves at a brisk pace. One of the greatest strengths is the characters. Wahl writes great characters. Both our heroes and also the villains. Another excellent part of the book is the representation of internal struggles. Both for what to do and for understanding what they want. Jake and Sophie are excellent role models and examples. And I hope that we get another story with them.

This book was a great read. I could hardly put it down. I have already asked my oldest daughter to read the story so we can use the discussion guide at the end. And I plan on reading it with my son later in the year. And with the discussion guide at the end great for families or youth groups to work through together. It is an excellent read.

Note: This book is part of a series of reviews: 2020 Catholic Reading Plan

Books by Leslea Wahl:
The Perfect Blindside
An Unexpected Role
Where You Lead
Unlikely Witness

eXtreme Blindside


Contributed to:
Secrets: Visible & Invisible 7 Amazing Stories - Catholic Teen Books

Gifts Visible & Invisible 8 Christmas Stories for Teens
...





(Note: This book is part of a series of reviews: A Year of Reading Intention - Catholic Reading!)

Monday, 24 February 2020

G.K. Chesterton - Karl Schmude - CTS Biographies

G.K. Chesterton
CTS Biographies
Karl Schmude
Catholic Truth Society
ISBN 9781860825064
eISBN 9781784694937
ASIN B075P69F4W
CTS Booklet B704


I admit my knowledge of the man and his works is lacking. I have only read 1 short story by G,K, Chesterton, and read even less about him. But after encountering a fictional version of him in the novel Toward the Gleam by T.M. Doran, I knew that I had to expand that knowledge. And with how much I have enjoyed the books and booklets from the Catholic Truth Society that I have read over the last few years it was the first place I looked. In the last few years I have read over 100 volumes from the CTS. And this little book is another excellent read in the CTS Biographies series.

Based on the number of this book, B704, there are over 700 books in the CTS Biographies series, spanning the over 150 years history. I have read about a dozen of them and have at least than many on wish list to track down and read. Even on the day I picked up and read this volume, Chesterton was in the news, because of a plan to demolish one of his homes in England has not passed at city council. And there are many I know that would love to see him canonized. But for myself I had always appreciated C.S. Lewis, before I returned to the Catholic faith and after. I never saw the need to expand into the man or works of G.K. That was my loss. This short volume on Chesterton is a great introduction. The chapters in this book are:

Introduction
The Roots of Genius
Chesterton’s Worldview
Christian Hope
A Prolific Career
Chesterton’s Social Thought
Chesterton’s Legacy
Further reading
Endnotes

We are told in the introduction:

“The reputation of G. K. Chesterton has not escaped the fate of most famous authors after their death – that of dwindling from a mass readership to the level of more spasmodic attention.

At the same time it is difficult to call a writer neglected who attracts notice as often as Chesterton, particularly in the form of quotations from his works, and whose books are regularly reprinted. The scintillation and depth of his thought, the freshness of his expression, the liveliness of his humour - all converge to explain the survival and permanent relevance of a man who, as Anthony Burgess has written, “knew what it was like to live on the level of eternity”.”


And that may be why I avoided his works so long. You often hear about the man, his works, or even the various societies dedicated to his life and works. There are few Catholic writers I can think of whose fame is even greater since their death, than in life. And none written as large and grandiose as Chesterton. But what we encounter in this volume is the man, a man who wanted to be a man of the people. A man of massive output both academically, and in his fictional works. In the section on his legacy we are informed that:

“Thus, in the twilight of his life, Chesterton came again to emphasize the importance and enchantment of the ordinary life - the life of order and normality. He understood this life because he had lived it himself. His greatness as a writer was matched by his greatness as a man. Goodness and wisdom were combined in him to a remarkable degree. With great dedication did he practise the Augustinian precept to destroy errors but love men. Few individuals more naturally distinguished between a man and his views, or found easier the theological injunction to hate the sin but love the sinner.

His contemporaries found in him a living example of charity and humility and childlike innocence. What has often been misconstrued as childishness was, in fact, childlikeness - reflecting a basic humility of nature and a simplicity and clarity of mind. Chesterton was the living exemplar of Christ’s injunction that “unless you be converted and become as little children, you shall not enter into the Kingdom of Heaven”.”


And that is what we encounter in this volume. But I will warn you this book will leave you wanting more. Wanting to know more about the man, wanting to read his non-fiction, and also hungry for his fictional novels. 

Another great read from the Catholic Truth Society, and like most I have read from them, it leaves me with an ever-growing wish list. Well worth the read, especially if you have not delved deep into Chesterton or his works yet.

Note: This book is part of a series of reviews: 2020 Catholic Reading Plan! For other reviews of books from the Catholic Truth Society click here.

For other reviews of CTS Biographies click here.

Books by Karl Schmude:
G.K. Chesterton
Hilaire Belloc








Saturday, 22 February 2020

No Small Goals - Thomas A. McDonough - The Life of Dr. Ernesto Cofiño

No Small Goals
The Life of Dr. Ernesto Cofiño
Thomas A. McDonough
Scepter
ISBN 9781594173455

 


This book took me completely by surprise. I had not ever heard the name Ernesto Cofiño, but once I started reading this book, I was amazing by his life, and could hardly put the book down. The subtitle of this book is ‘Guatemalan Physician, Humanitarian, Pioneer in pediatric medicine, and Servant of God. I believe this is the first biography of Ernesto Cofiño that has been written or published in English.

The book opens with a quote from the good doctor:

“Let’s not limit our goals to some small achievement. Our ambitions should always be marked by greatness. It’s not right to act timidly, avoiding great effort, not complicating one’s life, fleeing from burdens or demands. Everything we undertake should be accomplished with enthusiasm, for high and noble ideals. Then God will grant us his help, and the possibilities will be opened up, based on the virtue of hope.”

The concept of ‘No Small Goals’ was evidenced in all areas and stages of Ernesto’s life. This man dreamed more and did more in almost any stage of his life then most people in their entire lifetimes. The chapters in this colume are:

Part One: GOALS OF SERVICE
1. Return
2. Earthquake
3. A Most Noble Profession
4. I Always Wanted to Marry a Guatemalan Woman
5. To the Peripheries
6. All the Mayas around Here Know Dr. Cofiño
7. Social Pediatrics
8. The Centro Educativo Asistential
9. Teacher
10. Blessed Are the Merciful
11. Climate Change

Part Two: GOALS OF SANCTITY
12. The Great Encounter
13. A New Meaning to Life
14. The Retirement of a Child of God
15. Comings and Goings
16. The Battle for Life
17. An Opulence of Friends
18. Adventures of Fundraising
19. Final Rosary
Abbreviations

Each of the two parts begins with quotes from Ernesto himself:

“To put some order into the memories of my life,
I divide them into two great periods
of unequal duration and importance.
The first is 1899–1953, a long journey of preparation
with uncertain goals.
I was sure that there was a better way,
a surer path, but not an easier one.”


And

“And then there is the period since 1953 . . .
The call—the vocation—arrives like a living light
that makes you see the meaning of your life.”


The change was Ernesto met a priest of the work of Opus Dei, Fr. Antonio Rodríguez Pedrazuela, and began spiritual formation, spiritual direction with the priest. Ernesto was buried on the same day that he died, and we are told that despite the short notice over 600 people attended his funeral. In quoting one of his own children we are told:

“So that’s what we did, with all our affection. In those moments, I felt a great pain while at the same time an inexplicable joy. I had the intimate conviction that he was already enjoying God. A saint has died, people were saying. I was thrilled to hear it, because I was, I am, totally convinced of that reality: my father was a saint.”

And that is what we see of this man’s life. He was a man who lived to serve others, and once his spiritual formation began, he lived to serve God but living for and serving others. We are informed about private devotion to Ernesto from around the world.

This book draws extensively from a Spanish biography, from the various documents, and speeches of Ernesto himself. And rom sources that knew him in life. The book ends with these words:

“The reputation of the holiness of Ernesto Cofiño led the Church to open his cause for Canonization on July 31, 2000. Many people—family, colleagues and acquaintances—gave testimony during this process. In 2001, the tribunal of the Archdiocese of Guatemala City closed the testimonial stage and sent the documents to the Congregation for the Causes of the Saints in Rome, where they are studying his heroic virtues and several possible miracles and favors attributed to his intercession.”

After reading this volume I hope to see the day when this man is canonized. A many of medicine, a man of science, a man who lived to server and improve the lives of all who came into contact with him.

This is an incredible story about a man who Transformed medicine, especially pediatric medicine in Guatemala, Latin America, and around the world. And a man who after his encounter with Opus Dei live to transform spiritual lives as well as providing medical care and training.

I was blessed by reading this volume and I am certain you will be as well. So pick it up and give it a read.

Note: This book is part of a series of reviews: 2020 Catholic Reading Plan!


Friday, 21 February 2020

The Four Evangelists An Introduction - J.B. Midgley

The Four Evangelists:
An Introduction
J.B. Midgley 
Catholic Truth Society
ISBN 9781860824357
CTS Booklet SC86


I have now tracked down and read over a dozen books by J.B. Midgley. I love his books, and to be honest have benefited greatly from most of the books I have read from the Catholic Truth Society. I have read over 100 books and booklets from CTS over the last few years. There are many great series and lots of excellent resources. I believe that J.B. Midgley wrote 28 books and that 26 of them were for the Catholic Truth Society. This book is out-of-print but well worth tracking down. It serves as an introduction to the four gospels. It does an excellent job of highlighting similarities, differences and difference in focus of each of the gospels and has a brief section on devotion to the specific evangelists. The description on the back of the book is:

“This booklet offers digestible end attractive summaries of the life and work of each of the four Gospel writers, Matthew, mark, Luke, and John. It provides an excellent overview and introduction to the structure, themes and emphasis of each of the four gospels texts, and in the case of Luke and John, their other writings (Acts, Letters and Revelation) are also explored. The devotions that have grown up around the four writers over the centuries are also mentioned.”

The chapters in the volume are:

Unable to live on bread alone
The Good News
Saint Matthew
Saint Mark
Saint Luke
Saint John 

In the introduction Midgley quoting Pope Benedict XVI’s first Encyclical, ‘God is Love’, and emphasises:

“the lives of the saints are not limited to their earthly biographies, but continue being and working in God after death. They do not withdraw from men, but rather become truly close to them.”

And he states that the goal of this booklet is to help us to connect to the four evangelists. And it does an excellent job of that. I have a Religious Studies University degree, with a focus on Roman Catholic Thought. I would have loved to have had this booklet as a resource for several of the essays I wrote during my undergraduate career. 

Midgley writes in a clear and concise style. And het the book is well researched and presents a wealth of information in the small booklet format. In the section on Matthew’s gospel he states:

“His main theme is that Chris brings the reign and Kingdom of God that, in Him and through Him, remains with His Church until the end of time. He begins with the story of the Infancy and concludes with the Passion, the account of which is similar to mark’s but adds some miraculous occurrences that demonstrate the reality and extraordinary nature of the resurrection and Ascension.”

Each of the four gospels and the evangelists who wrote them are brought to life in a new way through the reading of this book. It is another excellent offering from both J.B. Midgley and from the Catholic Truth Society. I highly recommend it.

Note: This book is part of a series of reviews: 2020 Catholic Reading Plan! For other reviews of books from the Catholic Truth Society click here.

Books by J.B. Midgley:

Advent & Christmastide with the Saints
Antonio Rosmini
Benedict - Patron of Europe
Bernard of Clairvaux – CTS Great Saints
Charles Borromeo  - CTS Great Saints
Companion to St. Joseph
Companion to the Feasts of Mary
Companion to Saint Peter
Companion to Saint Paul
Companion to the Angels
Companion to the Feasts of Our Lord
Companion to the Passion of Our Lord
Dominic - CTS Great Saints
George: Patron of England - CTS Great Saints
Dewi Sant: St David Patron of Wales
Francis de Sales – CTS Great Saints
John Baptist de La Salle – CTS Great Saints
John Vianney – CTS Great Saints
Lent with the Saints
Nurturing the Young
Robert Bellarmine
Saint John the Baptist 
Stations of the Cross and Resurrection with the Saints
The Eucharist with the Saints
The Four Evangelists
Thomas Becket – CTS Saints of the Isles
Vincent de Paul – CTS Great Saints
Witchcraft, Sorcery and Magic


Contributed to:
First Fridays and First Saturdays The Devotions Explained 
...









Thursday, 20 February 2020

Paper Girls - Alex Smith - DCI Kett Book 1.0

Paper Girls
DCI Kett Crime Thrillers Book 1.0
Zertex Crime
ISBN 9781912767151
ASIN B07X2LS1XF


This is the second of the DCI Kett stories that I have read and I have can state that both are great crime mystery novels. Over a decade ago, I read and loved the Lockdown series published primarily for a young adult audience by Alexander Gordon Smith. When I found out he had a new crime mystery series in the works I had visions of his skill turned to series like Wired in the Blood, or the Commander. There is just something so appealing about a British crime drama or procedural, I was hooked from the concept. After reading the first novella or short story I bumped this one way up in my to be read list. The first short story is available for free on his site, and leads into this novel. 

The book begins a few months after Cry Baby. DCI Kett is on compassionate leave after the abduction of his wife. And is heading back to the area he grew up with his three girls. Before he even gets them settled into the house he is rending he gets a call from his boss. And his services have been offered to the local team in Norwich have two abductions of young girls snatched while delivering papers. Kett is dragged back into the world he was trying to step away from. But soon the case and his own tenacity have him in situations of great personal risk. But even after some initial confrontation and hostility he is settling down and finding his way with his girls and assisting the Special Investigations Unit.

The story is fast paced. And the characters are expertly written. You find yourself pulling for Kett. It is a great crime mystery story. But as a father of daughters also terrifying.

Up until last year I had not read much in the mystery or crime genres for over 25 years. But last year I did read a lot of crime and mystery books. I read all the books available by Maureen Jennings, the Jack Reacher Series by Lee Child, and the Hunt for Reacher series by Diane Capri. And the writing in this story kept up with them all. It is a great second story in a series. And sets us up for some serious action in the coming volumes. 

A great read for anyone who enjoys the crime, mystery, thriller genres!


Mystery Books as Alex Smith:

Softley Softley Series:
2.0 Hard Luck House
...

DCI Kett Series:
2.0 Bad Dog
3.0 Three Little Pigs
5.0 Run Rabbit Run
...

Books By Alexander Gordon Smith:
Escape from Furnace:
Lockdown

Solitary
Death Sentence
Fugitives 
Execution
Execution Epilogue - Short Story
The Night Children - Short Story


Fury Series:
The Fury
The Storm

The Inventors:
The Inventors
The Inventors And The City of Stolen Souls

Non-Fiction:
1001 Questions and Answers
Inspired Creative Writing: 52 Brilliant Ideas from the Master Wordsmiths
The Solar System
Family Quiz
Writing Bestselling Children's Books: 52 Brilliant Ideas for Inspiring Young Readers